Senior Federal Court judge Azahar Mohamed will perform the duties and functions as chief judge of Malaya until the vacancy is filled.
This is following the retirement of Zaharah Ibrahim on May 16.
In a letter sighted by Free Malaysia Today, Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said Azahar would be empowered to carry out the duties which include functions as provided for under the Federal Constitution.
She notified the judges and officers in Peninsular Malaysia on the temporary arrangement.
Federal Court head of corporate communication Suzarika Sahak confirmed Azahar's appointment, effective May 21.
Azahar, 63, was said to be a potential candidate as the next chief justice of Malaya, the third most senior post in the judiciary.
He was appointed as judicial commissioner in 2004 and elevated to High Court judge in 2006.
In 2011, Azahar was promoted to the Court of Appeal, and became a Federal Court judge in 2014.
He is also a former member of the nine-member Judicial Appointments Commission that recommends judges for promotion.
Another apex court judge, Rohana Yusuf, was also said to be running for the chief judge of Malaya post.
She was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2013, and to the Federal Court in 2019.